Kimberly-Clark (KMB) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Kimberly-Clark has been gaining from its solid cost-saving efforts. While the company has long been benefiting from its FORCE program, it also unveiled a 2018 Global Restructuring Program, which marks its biggest restructuring in a while. The plan is likely to enhance the company’s underlying profitability, help it compete better and provide flexibility to undertake growth-oriented investments. We believe that such efforts are likely to provide cushion to the stock, which declined in the past six months, while it fared better than the industry. Also, these factors fueled Kimberly-Clark in the fourth quarter of 2017, wherein results gained from cost-savings, lower tax and higher sales at most units. However, input cost inflation has been a concern for a while and is also likely to persist in 2018. Further the company has been struggling with softness in its North American segment and persistent challenges in the diaper category.”

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A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on KMB. Citigroup set a $112.00 price objective on shares of Kimberly-Clark and gave the stock a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. Barclays set a $119.00 price objective on shares of Kimberly-Clark and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, March 15th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $124.63.

KMB stock opened at $105.84 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 7.34, a current ratio of 0.89 and a quick ratio of 0.58. Kimberly-Clark has a one year low of $104.58 and a one year high of $134.29. The firm has a market cap of $37,230.98, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.99, a P/E/G ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 0.66.

Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 23rd. The company reported $1.57 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.54 by $0.03. Kimberly-Clark had a net margin of 12.48% and a return on equity of 427.79%. The firm had revenue of $4.58 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.61 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.45 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .8% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts anticipate that Kimberly-Clark will post 6.99 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 9th were issued a dividend of $1.00 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, March 8th. This represents a $4.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.78%. This is an increase from Kimberly-Clark’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.97. Kimberly-Clark’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 64.21%.

In other news, insider Kimberly K. Underhill sold 23,158 shares of Kimberly-Clark stock in a transaction on Monday, January 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $119.77, for a total transaction of $2,773,633.66. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 31,141 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,729,757.57. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.64% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. CAPROCK Group Inc. raised its stake in Kimberly-Clark by 19.2% in the third quarter. CAPROCK Group Inc. now owns 5,177 shares of the company’s stock valued at $614,000 after purchasing an additional 833 shares in the last quarter. Independent Franchise Partners LLP raised its stake in Kimberly-Clark by 3.2% in the third quarter. Independent Franchise Partners LLP now owns 1,157,877 shares of the company’s stock valued at $136,258,000 after purchasing an additional 35,537 shares in the last quarter. Oliver Luxxe Assets LLC raised its stake in Kimberly-Clark by 2.1% in the third quarter. Oliver Luxxe Assets LLC now owns 27,207 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,202,000 after purchasing an additional 566 shares in the last quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB raised its stake in Kimberly-Clark by 1.8% in the third quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 50,821 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,981,000 after purchasing an additional 916 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sky Investment Group LLC raised its stake in Kimberly-Clark by 1.6% in the third quarter. Sky Investment Group LLC now owns 54,698 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,437,000 after purchasing an additional 861 shares in the last quarter. 74.52% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Kimberly-Clark

Kimberly-Clark Corp. is engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of products made from natural or synthetic fibers. It operates through the following segments: Personal Care, Consumer Tissue, and K-C Professional. The Personal Care segment manufactures and markets disposable diapers, training and youth pants, swim pants, baby wipes, feminine and incontinence care products, and other related products.

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